tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 11, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
>>+ to up.d trainingpbor cont. some and cho seem >>+ to up.d trainingpbor cont. to it. others, so much. >> n on our broadcast tonight, let's do it. that was the message today from the president on getting a deal done that sooner or later could affect every single american. spreading scandal. while new violations of privacy come to light, the boss arrives to try to turn down the heat. betty ford is being remembered as someone who changed american life. we'll hear from someone who watched her life up close. and carmageddon. that's what they're calling the event about to happen in southern california. tonight the dire warning just days away from it becoming reality.
"nightly news" begins now. reality. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. the talks going on in washington will eventually affect all of us, they are mostly about preventing the federal government from defaulting, but they are also about taxes and the deficit and the huge division between the two sides in our country right now. it looked hopeful for a while, until the talks broke off, each side retreated to their corner and then the president went before the cameras this morning, using his home field advantage at the white house to push his side of the argument. republicans have called out the president for wanting to raise taxes. today the president called them right back for trying to protect the rich from having to pay more in an economy where millions are suffering and more has to be cut. we begin our coverage tonight in washington with nbc's kelly o'donnell on the hill. kelly, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, the deadline is getting closer and a deal seems far off tonight. aides say no new progress.
the president did try and increase the sense of urgency saying he could not sinai kind of a short-term extension, like a 30-day one for example. he said forget about that, he won't do that. getting more face time than ever before. >> hi, guys, this is the same shot you had yesterday, except we're wearing ties again. >> reporter: the third in what may be daily debt crisis negotiations. the president called congressional leaders back down to the white house. earlier the president made a pre-emptive strike at a news conference, saying republicans are refusing to budge. >> it's not going to get easier, it's going to get harder. so we might as well do it now. pull off the band-aid. eat our peas. >> reporter: house speaker john boehner countered that any tough love approach toward a deal still requires enough votes. >> i want to get there, i want to do what i think's in the
best interests of the country. but it takes two to tango, and they're not there yet. >> reporter: both parties later say they do agree the country's borrowing limit, the debt ceiling must be increased by the august deadline and that government spending must be cut. but the biggest divide is over taxes. the president says any tax hikes would not happen now, but in 2013, after next year's election, to bring in more revenue, to pay down the debt. >> if you don't have revenues, it means you are putting more of a burden on the people who can least afford it. and that's not fair. >> reporter: to get a deal, mr. obama said he would be willing to do what democrats consider unthinkable, change entitlement programs like social security. >> i'm prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done. and i expect the other side should be willing to do the same thing. >> reporter: but on taxes, the speaker says he must dig in. >> the american people will not accept and the house cannot pass a bill that raises taxes on job creation.
>> reporter: if there is a deal, boehner will have to sell it to colleagues and he's under considerable pressure, especially from tea party republicans, many of them say they won't support any increase in the debt ceiling, no matter what. brian? >> another day of this, kelly o'donnell starting us off from capitol hill. now we go to our political director chuck todd who's been talking to both sides in these talks. and chuck, this was compared again today to something we have all done, pay down just the interest on the credit card for that month because the bolder and sometimes impossible thing to do is pay it all off for that month. >> reporter: that's right, the bottom line, brian, is they're farther apart today than they were yesterday, than they were thursday, than they were wednesday. speaker boehner and president obama were concocting secret deals or potential secret deals on the golf course. at this point, what happened today at these meetings, mostly he had eric cantor, the number two guy in the house walking
through what he believed were the cuts that they agreed to. they only got to $1.7 trillion over ten years, that's a lot of money, but us doesn't meet the threshold that speaker boehner said and it didn't include any tax increases. at one point, president obama said to eric cantor, i'm not going to cut programs for college students and for seniors if you're knot going to ask people like me to contribute more. in a couple of days don't be surprised if senate republican leader mitch mcconnell decides he's got a plan c for some sort of contingency plan because they believe these talks are basically going nowhere and won't produce anything. >> and in the meantime, the clock ticks by. chuck todd at the white house. chuck, thanks. we go overseas now to the huge and growing scandal that's roaring through the empire of rupert murdock, the newspaper publisher, the head of the fox entertainment and news empire.
the scandal has to do with reporters for a british tabloid paper, listening in, hacking in to the secrets of the famous and the ordinary. and it's getting bigger by the day, despite a trip by the big boss to london to do some damage control. nbc's stephanie gosk is covering for us tonight in london. stephanie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. well the editors of the news of the world wrote in their final edition that we have won for today, the influence and power of one of the large's media companies. rupert murdock rushed to london hoping to mitigate the damage to his media empire, but it's looking more and more like there's little he can do. today new allegations reported in the british press and claims that one of the officers protecting the royals sold a list of the family's phone numbers to the news of the world. and a source close to prime minister gordon brown alleges
that the sunday times, another murdock paper illegally pursued brown's private financial and medical information. anger at murdock and resentment over his media company's unchecked political clout is boiling over. >> there is an element about all this is that personal. gordon brown is bitter that news of the world didn't back him in the last election. >> reporter: closing down the news of the world, firing all of its employees and apologizing was not enough to contain a scandal that's now affecting news corp's business. threatening to derail news cover corps's plan to buy b sky b. today deputy prime minister nick clay met with the family of millie dowler, the 15-year-old abducted and murdered in 2002, whose cell phone was allegedly hacked by reporters at "news of the world".
>> i would simply say to him, look how people feel about this, look how the country has reacted to the revulsion of the revelations. so do the sensible thing and reconsider. >> reporter: there was a time when politicians were afraid to speak out against the tabloid press, relying too level on their political support and fearing retribution on the headlines. on their political support and fearing retribution on the headline on their political support and fearing retribution on the andal.cused of being in on the by taking bribes as well as. leon panetta has been to iraq and afghanistan before but never as defense secretary, that happened this weekend, he's only been on the job for 11 days and already those traveling with him say there's been an unmistakable change at the top at the pentagon.
our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski is traveling with him and tonight has an exclusive interview with the secretary. >> reporter: the new secretary of defense leon panetta surveyed iraq from a u.s. military helicopter today and was troubled by the landscape below. u.s. no, sir -- u.s. forces here set to withdraw by the end of the year are once again caught up in a war. panetta told a gathering of soldiers today the killing must end. >> my first responsibility as secretary of defense is to make damned sure that we do everything necessary to protect you. >> reporter: panetta pressured iraq's top officials to send iraqi military officials out to hunt down the attackers. in an interview with nbc news, panetta suggested if not, american combat forces would do the job. >> all i can tell you is i do have the authority and the
responsibility to defend u.s. soldiers. >> reporter: this is panetta's first overseas trip as secretary of defense. on the flight over, he surprised many when he declared that al qaeda was on the ropes. >> we're within reach of strategically defeating al qaeda. >> reporter: in baghdad today, panetta misspoke when he appeared to suggest to these soldiers that the u.s. invaded iraq because of al qaeda. >> the reason you guys are here, is because on 9/11, the united states got attacked. >> reporter: but there's no evidence of al qaeda presence in iraq before the invasion. panetta explained later he was talking about al qaeda in iraq today. throughout this trip, panetta showed he's a different kind of defense secretary, bold and outspoken. >> damn it, make a decision. >> reporter: and when talking about osama bin laden, brash. >> and to get that son of a bitch. >> reporter: will there be more? >> hey, i'm italian, what can i tell you? >> reporter: at 73, panetta has
already had a lifetime of public service. and he told us today he took the pentagon job because he loves the work. and so far, brian, there's no holding him back. >> all right, jim miklaszewski traveling with the secretary tonight. jim, thanks. now we turn to libya where the uprising against moammar gadhafi is now entering it's fifth month and is at a stalemate and while we have been hearing a lot of the rebel forces in benghazi, east of the capital, now its west of the front, a lot closer to tripoli. mike tiabbi is there where the rebels say they're preparing for an all-out assault on gadhafi's center of power. mike, good evening. >> reporter: brian the rebels here say they have a better shot at getting to tripoli and getting to moammar gadhafi than those in the east who have been stalled hundreds of miles away for months. but gadhafi is fighting back
too, turning his town into a ghost town. three more platoons of rebel soldiers ready to join the war. the training here in maloot, just 40 miles from the border crossing in tunisia the rebels control. they also control almost all the mountain towns along the main highway surrounding the gadhafi town of tripoli. now the rebels are aiming for the town of garyan. the commander of the rebel forces who asked not to be identified because of fear of retribution against his family. says the rebels can win, but need more help from nato. right now, as men try to salvage captured gadhafi army weapons because they don't have enough of their own and can't keep gadhafi's rockets from raining down under cover of night, 40 or 50 a night, this soldier told us. so many homes and random targets hit, that 2/3 of maloot citizens have fled to tunisia.
commanders say there are now 2,000 to 3,000 rebel fighters in the mountains, enough to take the fight to tripoli, but not enough to win the battle on their own. in the meantime, gadhafi's forces brought reporters to tripoli from garyan. where a demonstration of claimed support, even women training to defend the libyan leader. while in maloot volunteers cook for the troops based in town, including the injured rebel soldier who is say they're keen to get back to the fighting. this man, spared by a few feet when a rocket slammed into his patio saturday night, said his wife and children will remain in tunisia. with gadhafi alive, he said, would you bring your family home? most of the towns in these mountains were taken over by the rebels without much of a fight, but that won't be the case in garyan, that gadhafi stronghold,
certainly not the case in tripoli, where everything seems to be under gadhafi's control. >> mike, thanks and safe travels to you and your crew in that neighborhood, please. and in syria today, what seemed to be payback towards the united states, after a bold trip by the u.s. ambassador, he visited the city of hama late last week to show support for the anti-government protesters and he was cheered upon arrival, but today, about 200 supporters of the assaad regime targeted the u.s. embassy building in damascus, throwing food, breaking windows and writing anti-american graffiti on the walls. the compound was protected by u.s. marines. when we come back here tonight, the moment all of greater los angeles has been dreading and it's almost here. someone who the betty ford we didn't always get to see, talks about her life and her legacy. e walls. the time los angeles has been dreading and it's almost here. someone who the betty ford we didn't always get to see, talks about her life and her legacy.
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now to the warning now to the warning that has gone out to every californian for weeks, and the approaching event this week they are calling carmageddon. if you grow up somewhere else and you go to california, you're struck by the fact that they put to the before the highway number, like the 5, the 10, the 110. but carmageddon, that has to do with the 405, the north-south freeway connecting the northern to the southern suburbs. they're about to close it to work on it and the fear is they will shut down l.a. or parts of it in the process. our report tonight from nbc's lee cowan. >> reporter: california's 405, three numbers that in los angeles add up to a four-letter word. >> every single day i take that drive and it is horrible. >> reporter: but this weekend, the dreaded 405 is getting a facelift. it's a billion dollar road widening project that's going to allow even more cars out on the ribbon of rage. but there's a problem.
to do it, crews have to shut down a 10-mile stretch for 53 hours. the 405 hasn't been that empty since o.j. simpson. >> i would say it would be equivalent to closing the golden gate bridge or the lincoln tunnel. >> reporter: david rizzo called himself dr. road map, a self-described guru for finding a shortcut. >> you may want to pack a tent in your car, some water, a coleman stove, it's going to be that bad. >> reporter: city officials have begged people to stay away, they have even brought eric estrada out of retirement on chips. >> stay home. >> reporter: all this anxiety has forced some to figure out a survival plan. bars have invented theme drinks like the gridlock and the road rager. >> it may alleviate some of the stress that they may be
experiencing that particular weekend. >> reporter: businesses are offering 405 specials. this tattoo shop, it's 15% off if you get inked during the shutdown. >> i can't think of any better way to represent l.a. than to have a gridlock tattoo. >> reporter: all of this for a closure that will indeed be a first. instead of dreading the 405 this weekend, some motorists may actually miss it. lee cowan, nbc news, somewhere on the 405. and up next here tonight a thrilling victory for some american women when it was all on the line. victory for some american women when it was all on the line. hey, the new guy is loaded with protein! really? 25 grams of protein. what do we have? all four of us, together? 24. he's low fat, too, and has 5 grams of sugars. i'll believe it when i--- [ both ] oooooh... what's shakin'? [ female announcer ] as you get older, protein is an important part of staying active and strong. new ensure high protein...
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most of us. it has been cleared by the feds to travel on roads and in the air. it will be available next year, but remember a few thing before you consider the quarter million dollar investment. it's not like you can just take off when stuck in traffic and it can only carry 320 pounds when fully loaded with fuel. so wings notwithstanding, we'll probably see you in traffic right alongside the rest of us. up next, betty ford, she changed lives, she saved her lives, but what was her life like up close? that's coming up right after the break. ose? staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation.
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betty ford did more for people than many presidents that come to mind. tomorrow night here we'll report on the thousands who will gather in southern california to remember betty ford. tonight we hear from someone who recorded her life. david hume kennerly was the official white house photographer during the ford administration. he got to see it all from behind the scenes and he gave us some indelible images. tonight he remembers a great first lady in his own words. >> the pictures of them having breakfast in the kitchen of their house. he was president of the united states and he was commuting to the white house. what you're looking at in that moment was how they lived their life. they were very ordinary people. very soon after the fords got into the white house, mrs. ford received some really bad medical
news. they had a prearranged visit by lady bird johnson and the two jongsz girls. she had her suitcase all packed to go to the navel hospital to get her mastectomy. she never said a word to mrs. johnson about it. she had a sense of not only courage, but determination that she was going to fight her way through it. and the photographs they took inside the navy hospital really show it, there she is with bob hope. the picture of mrs. ford looking out, that was one of her favorite pictures because she felt like it showed her isolation, but on the other hand, it was like living in a cage where people could look in at you. and she felt that that picture kind of summed up a lot of her feelings about living in the white house. on january 19, 1977, it was the last full day that ford was going to be in the white house and we walked by the cabinet
room and it was empty. she had this mischiefous look in her eyes and she said i have always wanted to dance on the cabinet room table. you had the image of all the gray suits sitting around this table and it is vintage betty ford. >> betty ford, through the lens and the words of david hume kennerly. that's our broadcast for this monday night. thank you for being